Confession: I collect tote bags. They’re cheap (my most expensive was $20.00) and space saving, occupying a flat space atop a box in my closet compared to the many feet of shelf space dedicated to my handbags. They’re environmental, ready to be rolled up in a ball until needed and they’re individual, each loudly proclaiming a different view—from my musical tastes to the places I’ve been and seen.
I have a tote bag from almost every rock concert I’ve attended in the past few years (Blue Rodeo and Crowded House come to mind) and from writer’s festivals where I conveniently use them to stash my latest literary journal finds—festivals often sell packaged lots of last year’s editions at a great discount. Thrown in the mix are a few chain store versions that look pseudo-funky and I am good to go.
I take a tote bag along to each of my monthly writing group meetings since they are the perfect size to hold a big notebook, a few pages of manuscripts and a book or two to be borrowed or lent that month. I like the casualness of a tote around the shoulder rather than a handbag clutched in palm. I also like the free form nature of a tote, meant to stretch and fit rather than dictate the terms of its contents with zippered pockets and compartments. The books and pens and keys must coexist together in a milieu rather than skulk, each in its own corner. A handbag is for work and its order while a tote is for me and my own way of doing things.
Photo courtesy of Phiseksit at freeditigalphotos.net